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October 5/05

When Vice President Cheney has to reassure Rush Limbaugh that Ms. Harriet E. Miers is a good choice for the Supreme Court, you know that smirky Bush and snarling Cheney have become a little less arrogant.

When Cheney said she'd prove to be a "great appointment," in 10 years, Rush asked, "Why do we have to wait 10 years?  Good point, Rush.

OPINION      

       I notice President Bush is lately a bit more pokey than cowpoke.  His lack of mandate-swagger, when he appeared on television to announce his nomination of Ms. Miers, was understandable when you consider: the mess in Iraq, the deficit, Katrina, the Social Security failure,  the price of gas, Tom Delay, Bill Frist, Scooter Libby & Karl Rove, and his sliding poll numbers, and maybe he really wasn't certain that he knew what he was doing with this nominating thingy.  It is seen as weakness by some that Bush accepted a reaching across the aisle for the first time since he was the Texas governor, currently gaining the approval  of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. for the Miers nomination; about which, no surprise, Bill Kystal lamented: "It looks like a capitulation;" Kyrstal no doubt reflecting on the long list of ultra conservative judges offered from the right that the Dems were lining up to attack.  What is amusing is that the right has now borrowed a word the left has been using, and

accuse Bush of "cronyism."  It's also a bit amusing to imagine Sen. Reid accepting a kind of weird Trojan horse in Miers' nomination, concocted by Machiavellian Rove, written by Steven King.  Makes you wonder, huh?  Golly!

 Continued....

       Many thought Bush would use the nomination of a far right conservative with a clear paper trail, as a push-back moment, to show he was still full of piss and vinegar and prepared to slug it out,  in spite of his numerous problems.  But instead he chose the "Texas Mystery" woman, Ms. Miers,  alarming quaking conservatives down to their toes,  seeing a far stretch from her to Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; this woman of whom Bush has said, "She will not legislate from the bench," and "I have no litmus test,"  and he didn't ask her about her personal opinions about abortion, etc.   Mmmm.  He didn't? And she is "the most qualified candidate in America." Really? 

    Not according to George F. Will, the highly intelligent and eloquent conservative, who says, "The President has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution..."  He also says, "If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers's name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists."  Okay.  I have absolutely no quarrel with either statement, but didn't Mr. Will vote for Bush twice?  Was it okay with Mr. Will that during these past 5 years, Bush has created this enormous mess in our country, that Bush and his scandal-racked conservative cronies are on the brink of bringing down the Republican party?  Not that I care, mind you.  Will doesn't "trust" Bush to do the right thing by the Supreme Court, but has he trusted him all this time?  Of course, Mr. Will would like to do the choosing; so would I. But neither of us can.  Lucky for America.

      What we know at the moment is that Miers belongs to a an evangelical church and might be supported by the Christian right, but might be opposed by the anti-abortion right if her position on the issue remains unclear.  To them as well as us.  We also know that Ms. Miers has worked for Bush for 10 years and is known to be a very discrete loyalist.  Discretion and loyalty are very big criteria in the Bush camp. And, another plus, she really believes in Bush.  She's a friend, and when you want to take care of a friend, put her on the Supreme Court.

 

       Of course, it's true, when a nominee is put in place on the Supreme Court, she is essentially cut free of her initial patronage, and is therefore at liberty to express surprising and, to some, disconcerting, opinions.  To repeat, it has been suggested that Bush's selection was based on weakness and cronyism, but I wonder if it's really a weakness to knowingly put up for nomination a woman who would be so strongly opposed by most of his conservative political base. To me it just smacks of stupidity or craziness, or both, which is not a good sign of stability in a

president.

        No doubt he believes it was smart to choose a nominee who has no judicial trail to follow, and that whatever has transpired between him and Ms. Miers over the decade is confidential as it relates to attorney/client privilege, it being as sacrosanct as the priest/confessional relationship.  And no doubt he figures that Senator Kennedy can huff and puff up and down and sideways, but can't be made privy to attorney/client memos, letters, taped conversations if any, etc. Bush thinking himself clever, maybe even giggling over it.  Maybe.  Well, hopefully not. But let's get serious: this is about a nominee for the Supreme Court, putting in place, what should be, a legitimate judicial figure for the next 20-30 years, a position that George F. Will and other conservatives, would like to see as far to the right as possible. Think about it.

       Frankly I don't think Mr. Bush is ready to be President.

 

October 27/05   Miers Withdraws. President Bush "reluctantly" accepted  Miers decision.  His explanation: blamed  the Senate's insistence regarding the release of W.H. documents.  Natch.  You can bet your bank account his reluctance was tempered by a secret sigh of relief. Read NYT

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